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Clinician pregnancy in psychoanalytic and relational frameworks
Master of Social Work
School for Social Work
Pregnancy-Psychological aspects, Psychotherapists-Psychology, Psychoanalytic interpretation, Subjectivity, Clinician pregnancy, Psychoanalytic theory, Relational theory, Embodiment, Relational unconscious, Patient's experience of the analyst's subjectivity, Creative disorder, Unformulated experience
This paper explores the risks, dilemmas, and opportunities for therapeutic work during and following clinician pregnancy. A therapist’s pregnancy can pose enormous challenges as identities shift, treatment is disrupted, and the therapist’s changing body and role spark new associations and conflicts. This theoretical thesis draws on psychoanalytic and relational theory to explore how clinician pregnancy has been viewed—and overlooked—in the past, and how therapists might contend with the challenges and dynamism of this time. In bringing relational theory to bear on clinician pregnancy, this paper wrestles with ideas of embodiment, with Aron’s (1999) concept of the patient’s experience of the analyst’s subjectivity, Stern’s (1983/1998) notion of “unformulated experience,” and Gerson’s “relational unconscious” (2004). It examines questions of self-disclosure, fusion and separateness, maternal presence and absence, disruption and abandonment, and expansion and fragmentation, treating the therapist’s body and psyche as vast and fluid forces in the consulting room.
McCarroll, Christian Anne, "And fetus makes three :a theoretical exploration of clinician pregnancy in psychoanalytic and relational frameworks" (2017). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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